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Architect's Challenge Winner Profile: Lyme Guesthouse by David Mansfield


“Someone will be a lucky guest.” That was the comment of one judge on looking over the Lyme Guesthouse by New York City-based architect David Mansfield. Mansfield’s work was chosen as one of the winners in the 2013 Marvin Architect’s Challenge.

Conceived initially as a simple pool house for guests, this “modern barn” developed into a serene retreat that takes advantage of its dramatic riverside location. Low maintenance, high life-cycle materials like zinc-magnesium roofing, cedar siding, polished concrete heated flooring, aluminum-clad Marvin wood windows and high-efficiency mechanical systems were used to meet stringent energy and aesthetic requirements.

Inspiration came from a Yankee barn. The Douglas fir barn frame with galvanized steel cable ties and turnbuckles makes reference to the structure’s bucolic rural Connecticut location. Natural materials, flexible interior spaces, simple, honest design elements and the emphasis on diffused light and subdued colors reference the client’s love of Japanese culture.

The Marvin windows and doors chosen by the architect created a focal point that brought this modern barn concept to life. Barn doors became screen doors and a classic lean-to became a modern window seat with a dramatic cantilevered roof and mullion-less corner window.

If the guesthouse looks this good, what must the main house look like?